The Malaysian government plans to develop a “Straits Riviera”, which will include purpose-built integrated cruise terminals in Penang, Port Klang, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Melaka and Kuching. Lines such as Royal Caribbean, Star Cruises and Star Clipper regularly call at destinations around Malaysia. The region is one of the most regularly visited among the ASEAN nations. Port Klang Cruise Centre is the closest terminal to the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, about 50 kilometres away. Kuala Lumpur offers photo opportunities with the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers. In Penang, travellers can enjoy sampling local food and also learn to cook it by taking a quick cooking class during a shore excursion. Classes are offered regularly at the Tropical Spice Garden and Nazlina Spice Station.

For unique accommodation, Penang has a number of heritage properties, including the luxurious Seven Terraces, which was once a mansion and now offers eight high-end rooms. There is also Suffolk House, once the home of Sir Francis Light, the founder of the British Colony in Penang. For more mainstream accommodation, Penang has a Shangri-La, Oriental Hotel, Novotel and ParkRoyal. Kuala Lumpur also has some of the biggest hotel brands, such as a Mandarin Oriental, Sheraton, Grand Hyatt, Le Méridien and Ritz-Carlton.

Click here for the top Malaysian cruise ports.